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I like to view Charles Dominici as a progressive metal zombie: he was once active in the scene during his stint in Dream Theater before “dying” for nearly two decades, and now has risen up again with superhuman strength beyond his previous form. So after reaching out of the grave, this forgotten idol remembered his glory days in Dream Theater, and hobbled along in hopes of finally recapturing that same energy that gave today’s progressive legends a boosting start; essentially, Dominici has done it again. Marking the third and final boulevard down his conceptual neighborhood, “Part III” towers powerfully in its attempt to alter progressive metal from its own roots, whether it be with metal or progressive attributes. Of course, nearly everyone looking into this CD is hunting for a vibe similar to that of Dream Theater’s debut, yet let’s not get carried away with those expectations; this isn’t a riding-off-previous-fame effort, as many certainly will see when finding a tornado of geometrical metal swirling above their hairlines. Newsflash: Dominici is back.
Now Sir Charles had very little to work with when he first crawled out of his grave with the opening chapter of the “O3” triangle, which stood firmly as an acoustic-only release. Since then, the second block found Dominici conjoined with a full-blown band pursuing progressive metal, and that’s exactly what’s left here. This time around, however, his backing band is heavier, tighter, and better adapted than ever before; not just musically improved, but more professional as well. The overall music has a spastically enjoyable sound with nutty riffs looping around atmospheric keyboards, forceful percussion, and swell arrangements worth a shiny ribbon. As for Dominici, he sounds better and more redefined than anything during those years in Dream Theater. Powerful and bursting with emotion, Dominici’s voice is like a shotgun blast of catchiness, might, strength, velocity, and general goodness all placed into tiny pellets that pierce your skin like little daggers. Overall, expect great vocals from one of progressive metal’s sleeping masters that sleeps no more; an amazing display of his talents throughout.
Who would have ever thought the forgotten vocalist of Dream Theater’s early days could rise above his previous form into something so epic and enjoyable, as this piece of progressive gold clearly demonstrates? Fact is, Dominici has never sounded better vocally, and the musical atmosphere is simply an outstanding foundation for him to do his magical larynx nothing but goodness; clearly one that sounds fantastic whichever you see it. Although it’s a given many will subconsciously skip over this record, take note about Dominici’s final cut in his slicing trilogy of conceptual madness, for it is a very surprising listen in many unusual ways.
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com